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Are You Optimizing Your Press Releases For Social Media?

January 21st, 2009 | | SEO Copy Writing, Social Media & SEO

When you’re looking to find out what’s new in the world, or what’s going on right now, where are you looking online? Most of us don’t look past the social media sites we’re already using all day, everyday, to get the latest news and current events. Social media platforms are the new source of news these days. Whether it’s our friends or colleagues posting interesting news items or events on their social networking profiles, or our favorite blogs giving us the latest on the industry or interest-related news that we want to know about, we no longer have to seek out the news. It comes to us.

But, is social media really playing the role of news provider? Well, just look at what happened with the recent US Airways Flight 1549 Plane Crash. Twitter broke the story with a frenzy of moment-by-moment updates from witnesses as well as photos of the scene that no news outlet could compete with. And, just one day after the crash, a Facebook fan club dedicated to the pilot of Flight 1549 had quickly grown to over 10,000 members. Even the Live TV news coverage of the crash was fed directly to YouTube>, giving the social media enthusiasts a way to watch right from their home and work computers, iPhones or other portable devices. The mainstream media didn’t report on the crash until about 15 minutes after the first tweets, online pictures and video.

The quick and effective dissemination of news within the social media sites makes this a prime platform for your company news and announcements. But how can you take advantage of these platforms to spread the word about your business’s current events? Just a few simple adjustments to the press releases you’re writing can insure they translate simply and easily to social media dissemination and give the social media communities the information they’re looking for.

Rethink How You Write A Press Release.

You want to see your release’s headline in tweets and on social networking profiles, the entire releases posted to blogs and social networking profiles and links to your release plastered on all types of social media platforms. Well, you need to facilitate this type of social news dissemination by writing a release that works for all of these types of distribution. Rather than writing a typical press release with 4-5 paragraphs of text, try writing it more like a blog post or web page—bold headlines, simple, bullet-pointed facts and conversational language. Add a company logo, pictures, and even links to video to really make it interesting. Think of a quick-read blog post when writing this new style of press release. Keep it simple, readable and interesting.

Speak a More Social Language.

If you want the social media community to spread the news, you need to speak their language. Forget the industry jargon, leave out the boring stats and get back to headline writing of the newspaper heydays. Short but descriptive, sweet, humorous, with a little humor or sass. Use your keywords, but make this short (80 characters or less) headline more conversational than journalistic. Don’t get caught up in using industry jargon or language that is too stiff or formal. Imagine posting this to your Facebook profile, a blog entry or a tweet—would it fit there?

Link Your Press Release.

If you want your press release posted to blogs, social networking profiles and other social sites, you need to offer the readers a quick way to get more information. Link text within your releases to highly relevant page on your website—don’t just link to your homepage. If you don’t have pages within your site that offer more relevant information, link to posts on your blog, other industry news sources, or consider creating a page or blog post to give readers more information. Link important keywords such as product names, locations, employee names, and anything else your readers are likely to be curious about.

Send Your Press Releases To Relevant Blogs and Bloggers.

Don’t rely solely on your traditional, mainstream media contacts when you’re sending out your next press release. Email a copy to the blogs you’re reading, popular bloggers in your industry, and even to people in your social networks that you think would be truly interested in your company news (careful with this one, stick with people who will really find the information useful—don’t be a pest). <

So, get started with a new style of PR for your company and take advantage of the quick communication of the online social community. For more tips on optimizing your press releases for social media, take a look at this article.

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